Das achte Leben (Für Brilka) by Nino Haratischwili: When was the last time you read a book which had 1300 pages? Yeah, same here. I am not even sure that I ever did. Even Anna Karenina was shorter. You don’t get bored though while reading this family saga from the Republic of Georgia. The story of six generations is gripping and there is much to learn on how life was like in the Soviet Union. I liked it a lot but it didn’t keep me up at night.

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy: the story of an overweight teenager with a former beauty pageant winner for a mother. Life is difficult for the best of us but under these special conditions it gets extra strenuous. How Willowdean (also called Dumplin’ by her mother) navigates the pitfalls of high school and first love makes for an entertaining read.

Cox: oder Der Lauf der Zeit by Christoph Ransmayr: It was a bit boring to say the least. The writing style was grating on my nerves. The long-winded sentences with ever more long-winded descriptions is just not my understanding of a fun read. The clock maker who sails to China to manufacture a clock which never stops for the Chinese emperor sounds like a great story. Unfortunately it didn’t deliver.

Puddin’ (Dumplin’, Band 2) by Julie Murphy: Two secondary characters of “Dumplin” get a book of their own. Does weight really define a person’s life so much? Of course lots of people are struggling with it and have a couple of kilo more than necessary. But both books were pretty much about the same issue: the weight. It’s hard to believe what kind of impact it has, especially on all the people around that person. Good to read then that the “Puddin’ girl ” had better stuff to do with her life!

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